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Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy) by [Robinson, Kim Stanley]
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Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Length: 786 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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The final volume of a trilogy that began with Red Mars and continued with Green Mars, Blue Mars completes the story of the "First Hundred", a pioneering group of explorers who have overseen a terraforming project that transformed Mars from a lifeless planet into a world habitable by humans. An anti-ageing breakthrough has kept the First Hundred alive for three centuries and in that time, their motives, desires and passions have evolved in ways that parallel the changes on Mars itself. Conceptually complex and daring, the publication of Blue Mars marks the completion of a modern science fiction masterpiece.

Review

'A beautiful book - to be lived in. Let most of it be true'
Daily Telegraph

‘Red Mars is the ultimate in future history’
Daily Mail

'One of the undisputed leaders of the field in contemporary science fiction' Guardian

'If I had to choose one writer whose work will set the standard for science fiction in the future, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson…' New York Times

‘One of the finest works of American sf’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Absorbing, impressive, fascinating… Utterly plausible’
Financial Times

‘Red Mars may simply be the best novel ever written about Mars’
Interzone

‘A staggering book. The best novel on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written.’
Arthur C. Clarke

'A mighty trilogy… forecasting every detail and facet, triumph and tragedy, crucial breakthroughs and trivialities of humanity's colonization of another world'
Daily Mail


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9934 KB
  • Print Length: 786 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (27 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00165EXI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Half way through and i'm enjoying it.
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Format: Paperback
Mars is now a green and fertile world thanks to the terraforming-efforts made in the previous two books of the trilogy. The conflict between the pro-terraforming "greens" and the militant "Reds", wanting to preserve Mars, first described in "Red Mars", and the struggle between the Earth-based super-corporations started in "Green Mars" is still omnipresent as the story enters its third century with "Blue Mars". But as the planet strives for independence a third facet comes into focus - should the colony confront the future alone, with minimum contact with Earth, or should the planetary congress seek to aid their former adversary in its battle for survival against a disastrous flood, threatening to collapse the entire planet and possibly dragging Mars down in the fall.
What distinguishes Kim Stanley Robinson's work is his great focus on the socio-economic issues of the future: The power of Mega-corporations vs. civil rights and democracy, healthy environmental concern vs. radical militant "ecoterrorism", longevity-treatments vs. natural lifespans and so on. In Blue Mars these conflicts are in particularly seen in the context of how they're solved in both the Martian and the Terrestrial societies.
Personally I'm very fond of Kim Stanley Robinson's thought provoking style and I often find myself spending loads of time rethinking the "what-ifs" the book deal with. Blue Mars is my favourite in the trilogy - mostly because it has the longest horizons and deals with the entire humanity and so it feels more like a future vision that affects me - but you should give the entire trilogy a chance - It raises such an amazing array of questions that you just can't help thinking of a lot of issues in the context of the book. As it says on the cover of the book "it should be mandatory reading for the Martian settlers of the next century", but nevertheless everyone planning to stay down here ought to examine it as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Blue Mars" continues direstly from where "Green Mars" left off. The Martians have gained their independence from Earth and now set about establishing new forms of government and developing their own way of life, rather than have it decided for them by the Terran meta-nationals. The book focuses heavily on the actions of the remnants of the First Hundred, such as Sax,Ann,Maya and Nadia plus new characters like Zo and Nirgal.
"Blue Mars" as the title suggests is set on a fully terraformed Mars. The atmosphere has thickened and heated up and the ice seas have melted and created a hydrosphere similar to Earth. The masks and walkers have now been disposed of. The scientific substance of the book now concentrates on developing the longevity treatment, ecopoesis and the psychological difficulties of coping with living for 200 years plus.
I didn't find "Blue Mars" to be as fascinating and exciting as the first two books of the trilogy and was a bit overlong. Perhaps that was due to over familiarity with the setting and characters and it was only when Nirgal and Zo featured heavily that "Blue Mars" had a character of its own and came to life , but unfortunately most of the book concentrated on the First Hundred whose lifes work was more or less complete by the end of "Green Mars". I would have liked to have read more about "The Accelerando" instead. I also didn't like the prolonged ending to "Blue Mars"; I thought it was lacking in impact somewhat and didn't bring the Trilogy to the spectacular end it deserved.
However "Blue Mars" is still a wonderful book, full of impressive and credible scientific detail, and if Mars is to be colonised then this trilogy is a perfect guidebook for its terraformation.
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Format: Paperback
Writing the trilogy must have required huge amounts of research. I applaud KSR for his efforts. However, I cannot applaud him for the significant lack of plot in this book. This book spends a large part of its 700+ pages describing landscapes and the way of life of a number of individual characters.
Most of the more interesting events are related in an almost second-hand fashion and largely glossed over as his characters amble through their lives. You start to wonder why these characters are in the book other than to give you a feeling of being there.
KSR had the opportunity to write a tight, gripping plot about the social, economic, environmental and political issues facing those on Mars. Instead he wrote about the neuroses of his characters as they grow old gazing at numerous multi-coloured sunsets. On the whole this book is aimless, overly long and without any significant direction.
As a bedtime read I could only ever manage a couple of pages before nodding off.
I cannot recommend this book if you are looking for a gripping page-turner. If you want a sedate tour of Martian landscapes and sunsets with no real action then this book is for you.
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Format: Paperback
On the US mirror site, the usual tedious carping from groupthinking right-wingers that accompanied 'RED' and 'GREEN' has been accompanied by a significant strand of criticism for the slow pace and meandering structure of the final volume of KSRs astonishing 'Mars' trilogy.
Granted, slowing down an already fairly ponderous narrative to a contemplative near-halt is a counterintuitive move, but consider the following:
1) Anyone not ready for a big, slow, character driven journey where literary style is as important as driving plot should have given up halfway through 'RED'. Why continue catering for them?
2) How much more disappointing would it have been if, having shown us the struggle to build a living world, the author fails to describe how people actually live in it?
I think this is what the final trilogy does - which is why the actual plot points sometimes feel a little forced - certainly the mild political wrangling that goes on doesn't deserve the same sort of treatment as the revolutionary fervour of the first two books. Presumably there was more than a little editorial pressure to add at least a little bit of direction - personally I could have done without it, and would have been just as happy with a series of incidents - vignettes showing the fascinating characters in the series enjoying (or otherwise) the fruits of their sacrifices while a new generation expands upon their work.
As to the sudden expansion of human colonisation - the 'Accelerando' - well, Stan's been so good about keeping everything within our own scientific horizons. Why not allow him a few flights of fancy? Remember, also, that this is two hundred years into our future - think back to the early 1800s. In any case, it allows him to have a happy ending on the cosmic as well as the personal scale.
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